MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews will moderate a panel discussion in Cambridge next week about the late Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr.’s life in the city and what he did for the community.
The free event on Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. in Cambridge's Main Public Library will kick off a year of events in Cambridge to commemorate the centennial of O’Neill’s birth in Cambridge in 1912.
Known for saying “all politics is local,” O’Neill died in January of 1994 at the age of 81 after 50 years of public service, including serving as the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives for a decade.
Matthews, a long time aide to O’Neill who now hosts NBC's The Chris Matthews Show, will moderate the discussion about the speaker, and will be joined by members of O’Neill’s family, including his children Thomas P. O’Neill III, Rosemary O’Neill, Susan O’Neill, and the speaker’s grandson Thomas O’Neill Jr.
The series of events commemorating the late speaker’s career is being organized by The Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Centennial Committee, in cooperation with the City of Cambridge and Boston-based government and public relations firm, O’Neill and Associates, which was founded by Thomas P. O’Neill III.
To coincide with the panel discussion, the City of Cambridge has announced that its Main Library along with the John J. Burns Library at Boston College and the O’Neill family will feature an exhibit of key documents and photographs from the speaker’s political career and personal memorabilia related to Cambridge. The exhibit opened Tuesday, May 15 and will run through July 15 in the Sakey Room on the first floor of the Cambridge Main Library at 449 Broadway.
Additional panel discussions are being planned for the fall, and the city’s O’Neill Committee is in the process of selecting an artist and suitable site in North Cambridge for a permanent, outdoor, public mural featuring the speaker and important milestones of his career in public service. A portrait of the speaker will also be dedicated at Cambridge City Hall in December.